Potomac resident Peter Kimm recently returned from Yogyakarta, Indonesia where an earthquake and its aftershocks this past weekend have resulted in more than 4,500 deaths, more than 7,500 people being seriously hurt and the destruction of more than 10,000 homes.
Kimm is the Chairman of the Board of the International Housing Coalition, a non-profit organization created by Habitat for Humanity International, the U.S. National Association of Realtors and the Canadian Real Estate Association to advocate for “Housing for All.”
In April, Kimm visited Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines with Steven Weir, the Vice President for Asia Pacific for Habitat for Humanity International and Charlie Ayco, Habitat for Humanity International Regional Director, who are based in Bangkok. The purpose of the trip was to try to identify activities that would provide housing for low-income families that could receive US government assistance in the foreseeable future.
The team visited Indonesia from April 19-23 and spent two days in Yogyakarta (also known as Jogjakarta) where they visited existing neighborhoods built with assistance from Habitat for Humanity with Henry Feriadi, Chairman of Habitat for Humanity Yogyakatra.
“I was very impressed with what I saw, pre-earthquake, particularly with the clear impression that the Habitat homeowners are community leaders in their neighborhoods,” Kimm said.
At the time of their visit the nearby volcano, it was smoldering, as had been the case for some weeks. About a month later, disaster struck from the earthquake.
Feriadi, who is a professor of architecture in Yogyakata, is now the Field Team Leader of a Habitat for Humanity International Disaster Response team that includes other experts who are deciding on the steps now being taken and planned to respond while Steven Weir and Charlie Ayco mobilize resources for their efforts.
Kimm, of Horseshoe Lane in Potomac, was for 36 years the Director of Housing for USAID and is a widely recognized authority on housing in the developing world.